How can we unicyclists help the hurricane victims?

Sorry if you think this is off-topic. We have a community here, and where there’s a communtiy, there’s strength. We also seem to have a lot of clever people who post here, surely we can think of something.

The Katrina hurricane disaster is the biggest natural disaster ever to occur in the United States. Most people seem to be still not grasping the size and scope of it. They don’t need money right now. They don’t need us complaining about where’s the help. Both of those will be appropriate a little later, but not now. Right now, immediate action still needs to be taken to save lives. The people down there need transportation, water, food, and security.

How can we help? Most of us live really far away. There must be something we can do besides sending money. The first thing that came to my mind is to cut down my use of gas as much as possible. I’m going to ride to work as much as possible until the fuel crisis (availability, not price) is over in the disaster area. If we all do this, it should free up some supplies to go to that area. Don’t drive. If you absolutely have to drive, be as efficient as possible.

What else? I’m looking for ideas.

Yesterday I drafted a short letter and sent it to three of my Representatives. I was rather annoyed that their web sites, where you fill out an online form to send email, force you to choose a “topic” from a canned list that does not have this disaster on it. ANNOYING. So I hope the message gets through. I also sent it to the White House email address. I can forward a copy of this Word doc, which includes links you can use to find your reps, to whoever requests it.

Maybe we can start a fundraising drive right here, for us unicyclists and our friends/families. What’s the best way to do this?

Well…If I imagine myself in this situation, I ask, “what would I need?”

The immediate basics are food, clothes & shelter. When the feds finally get a handle on everything, these will be taken care of. Not using unnecessary resources will help prevent shortages in areas that desperately need help.

However, when the evacuation is over, the displaced will need a way to get back on their feet. So many have lost absolutely everything. Offering up transportation to a new community, a spare room, or even a place to camp with nearby facilities would probably be effective. Expect that anyone staying will need to contact relatives, find a new job, find a new place to live, and essentially start over. These people will need a lot of help and a lot of time to rebuild their lives, so even a portion of the above would give them a boost and help.

Call this a “second chance” donation. Maybe a list of people willing to help others in this manner in our unicycling community could be assembled. If someone asks for help, or knows of another person or family that needs the help, we could arrange the contact. Getting the word out to affected fellow unicyclists would be tough though.

Not sure what to do or how to arrange fundraising, but it is also a good idea.

I saw on the news how the redcross people were taking down messages and e-mail’s of people in the astro-dome, emails of freinds and realatives, so they could tell them they were alive. They had STACKS of messages to send out. Im sure if you contacted someone about sending emails for them, they wouldnt turn you down.

Re: How can we unicyclists help the hurricane victims?

I had a possibly stupid thought regarding NOLA transportation.

Since oil and gas are becoming very, very scarce down there…

Send mountain bikes?

Re: How can we unicyclists help the hurricane victims?

entropy wrote:

> Well…If I imagine myself in this situation, I ask, “what would I
> need?”
> The immediate basic

is potable water. They have an abundance of water; send filters?

Re: Re: How can we unicyclists help the hurricane victims?

The water they have will be contaminated not only with sewage, silt and mud, but also with oil and fuel from cars and static engines such as generators and pumps. Removing oil from water to make it potable is next to impossible. I know because my girlfriend had an oil leak at her home and it contaminated her well. Even the tiniest imaginable percentage of oil can make water undrinkable for a long long time.

I went to New Orleans a few years ago. It was a world city, an international treasure - a one off - notable not so much for the facilities and architecture as the heritage and the spirit of the place. I like jazz and blues and New Orleans was the spiritual home of that music. Places where Louis Armstrong and King Oliver performed are gone forever. Even if they recreate them exactly, they will not be the same. That matters less than the thousands of dead and the tens of thousands who will never recover, but it brings it home to me as an individual.

That said, and acknowledging that this is a terrible human disaster, beyond all comprehension, I doubt that there’s much we can achieve by sending money. America is not short of money. Unfortunately, as events have shown, America is also not short of individuals who will capitalize on a disaster even of this magnitude. If the amateurs are looting now, what will the professionals do with the charity money?

If anyone feels moved to send money, I respect that, but make sure you send it to a recognised and established charity, not to some opportunistic fund set up to exploit the surge of sympathy that follows such disasters. Give to help the needy, not to assuage your own feelings.

show them how to unicycle

Thanks for starting this thread. I have been a little frustrated with the lack of apparent interest in the community regarding this disaster. I felt that it was worthy of conversation, as well as some sort of out reach.

The question you pose is a good one. How can we do something meaningful right now. People are literally dieing from lack of assistance. What can we do that will make this situation better. I certainly don’t think money itself will expedite assistance. Money will be needed. Some people don’t even have cash on hand to pay for hotel rooms.

I personally have sent mosquito abatement supplies, and repellent products with my next door neighbor who is going to the area with MCI. I am certainly open to ideas that others may have as well. has at least one user from New Orleans, Mike Rojas:

Anyone else know of members from the affected areas?

i don’t think there’s much the unicyclist community can do, other than encourage eachother to get involved with other organizations like the red cross or something. driving less sounds good too. UDC has an alternative to higher gas prices, maybe we could send them a few of those. :smiley: seriously though, if anyone does live nearby, they need a lot of volunteers at the astrodome and at other shelters too i’m sure. my fraternity is going to the astrodome tomorrow, but i have to work. they’re not turning away individuals or anyone who shows up to help, but they do advise that you come in groups for safety reasons.

This may be a silly idea and not much use in helping those who are affected right now. But why not send unicycles. There are going to be heaps of kids with not much to do whilst their homes are being rebuilt or finding new homes etc. Unicycling and circus arts in general are a great psychological healer. And there are ging to be many, many kids (and adults) who are going to need some of that. Circus workshops for kids wuold be great to keep them occupied and to give their parents some time away from their kids to sort out practical stuff.

Maybe a silly idea but I can’t really think of anything else that would be of practical use. It’s such a bizarre situation.

why not do a tour.?

How can we unicyclists help the hurricane victims?

In my opinion as a community the best thing we can do is save gas. I think since we are a unicycling community, we use try to use our unicycles to help the relief. I think that the best thing we can do is make some sort of campaign to save gas, meaning we travel everywhere with unicycles. We could do like a no gas for a week thing, or we only use 20$ a month thing, we could make it more or less extreme depending what people wanted to do, if they wanted to do it. Our gas conservation campaign would raise awareness to the situation around our widely spread areas. While sending supplies, or money to relief efforts are good it would be very hard for many people on this forum who want to help to get involved seeing as we are spread so thin.

Well that is my best idea…

Saving gas is cute, but way off the mark.
Saving gas will benefit people driving SUVs in California way more than it will help the victims.

From what I see (being in a state where victims are arriving), there is plenty of support available for the victims.
People are opening their homes, apartment buildings and even cruise ships.
Check craigslist (as a small example). Another sponsored by " is:

The problem seems to be communication.
Letting the victims KNOW WHERE to get support.

The best way to help would be to connect the victims with the support. Second best, is to send money to other people that will do that task.
If our government could do one thing right (at this point), it would simply build a bridge between those willing to help, and the victims.

the red cross says the thing they need most is money, they do not need clothes or shoes right now. I think that would be cool to set up a unicycle tour were we all meet in New Orleans, and put on a show of some kind.

I know that it would be “neat” if we could somehow help the victims WITH OUR UNICYCLES.
However, my guess is that this is a time bikes would be more effective. (partly joking/partly serious Bicycle Sport shop is doing something along those lines.)
Seriously, we may want to come up with a way to help the victims the way they need to be helped - rather than the most artistic (unicycling) way we can help them.

/Thinking about the problem from the perspective of the victims.

Well, if we all can agree that money is the best thing to send, but we want to use our unicycles . . . some kind of ride could be set up, and all the entry fees would be sent to help them, and the organizers would just donate their time. And of course, the entry fee would have to be a bit higher then normal, like when cancer rides are done for bicycles, it’s a higher fee.

contact a bike shop, ask to do a demo, charge admission and send profits

Here is something YOU can do free to help the victims now.

Free. From your location.

A website that is being used by the Red Cross and the public to post pictures of people that are missing.
search this database for the people listed on the photo website to see if they’ve been found and where they are located.
Another website that can be used to check the status of missing people if they have been reported safe.

e-mail the people who posted on the photo website to let them know that you have found the person they’re looking
for and give them the website address and the contact info that is listed on the website.

2 successful connections so far

From Michael Moore’s Mailing List


There is much to be said and done about the manmade annihilation of New Orleans, caused NOT by a hurricane but by the very specific decisions made by the Bush administration in the past four and a half years. Do not listen to anyone who says we can discuss all this later. No, we can’t. Our country is in an immediate state of vulnerability. More hurricanes, wars, and other disasters are on the way, and a lazy bunch of self-satisfied lunatics are still running the show.

So, in the next few days, I will write to you about what must be done about Bush and Co.

But today I want you to join with me in bypassing the colossally inept and incompetent Bush administration and get help DIRECTLY to the people of the New Orleans area – right now.

A lot of you have written me to ask what you can do. Many don’t know who to trust. Many want to do more than write a check. You are right to think that writing checks to relief agencies will not get water and aid to people in the next 48 hours. Checks will be needed later and can be written later.

I have a way, though, for each and every one of us to do something today that can affect people’s lives TODAY.

For the past few days I’ve been working with a group that, I guarantee you, will get direct aid to the people who need it most.

Cindy Sheehan, the brave woman who dared to challenge Mr. Bush at his summer home, has now sent her Camp Casey from in front of Bush’s ranch to the outskirts of New Orleans. The Veterans for Peace have taken all the equipment and staff of volunteers and set up camp in Covington, Louisiana, on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. They are accepting materials and personally distributing them to those in need.

This is where we come in. We need to ship supplies to them immediately. Today they need the following:

Paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, baby diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, Pedialyte, baby items in general, powder, lotion, handy wipes, sterile gloves, electrolytes, LARGE cans of veggies, school supplies, and anything else to lift people’s spirits.

You can ship these items by following the instructions on Or you can deliver them there in person. The roads to Covington are open. Here’s how to get there. You can drop them off or you can stay and participate (if you stay, you’ll be camping so bring your own tent and gear and mosquito spray).

If you can’t ship these items or go there in person, then go to and make an immediate donation through PayPal. Camp Casey-Covington will have immediate access to this cash and can buy the items themselves from stores that are open in Louisiana (all donations to Veterans for Peace, are tax deductible).

Each day I will post up-to-the minute information as to what is needed and the progress Camp Casey is making. Please visit often and do what you can to help.

Many other groups are also doing good work. has set up a system for people to offer rooms in their homes to the survivors.

There is no time to waste. People are suffering and dying. Each of us can do something. There is no other alternative.

Thank you in advance for your help. Tomorrow, we will take care of the other work we need to do about the ideologically hamstrung incompetents in charge.

Michael Moore